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Indian govt refutes media report on black money held by Indians in Swiss Banks

NEW DELHI: The Government of India has refuted all the media reports stating that funds of Indians in Swiss Banks have risen to over Rs 20,700 crore, the highest ever in the last 13 years, today in a statement.

“Media reports allude to the fact that the figures reported are official figures reported by banks to Swiss National Bank (SNB) and do not indicate the quantum of much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland,” said the Finance Ministry.

Ministry added, “Further, these statistics do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of third-country entities.”

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The government pointed out that India and Switzerland are signatories to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC) and both countries have also signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) pursuant to which, the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is activated between the two countries for sharing of financial account information annually for the calendar year 2018 onwards.

The government gives further clarification on the matter and said that in the presence of current visible legal arrangement for the exchange of information of financial accounts, the revealed deposits cannot be undeclared incomes of Indian residents.

The Finance Ministry gives a few ‘potential’ reasons for the increase in deposits. They are as followed –
1. Increase in the deposits held by Indian companies in Switzerland owing to increased business transactions
2. Increase in deposits owing to the business of Swiss Bank branches located in India
3. Increase in Interbank transactions between Swiss and Indian Banks
4. A capital increase for a subsidiary of a Swiss Company in India and
5. Increase in the liabilities connected with the outstanding derivative financial instruments.

Certain media reports have claimed recently that funds deposited by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks including through India-based branches and other financial institutions, jumped to over Rs 20,700 crore in 2020.

It was Rs 6,625 crore at the year-end of 2019.

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